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«The squirrel's singing up in the house frame»
Saturday, 28.04.2012, 20:20
oh what a night...
Bowerbirds (USA)
Timeless, yet in the now, Phil and Beth sing about the most intense moments of life, reliving them for the listener as well. Pure balsam for all you hurt souls who suffer from too much exposure to a hardcore, crazy world.
«The Clearing» - the follow-up to «Upper Air», released in 2009, which excelled in featuring hymns to the sun, in turn is the successor of their much ballyhooed first, «Hymns For A Dark Horse», which was familiarizing us with a woman/horse analogy. It was produced in their own timber home in North Carolina and in Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon's April Base studio.

Then, our two great lovers, Phil Moore and Beth Tacular, took the time necessary to come up with a deep and soul-stirring new album. Their third, «The Clearing» is in many ways more courageous, bigger and varied than its two predecessors. In line with this great band, it deals with eternity and the nano second. Timeless, yet in the now, Phil and Beth sing about the most intense moments of life, reliving them for the listener as well. Pure balsam for all you hurt souls who suffer from too much exposure to a hardcore, crazy world.

«The Clearing» feels organic and it's on point. Beth had been hospitalized, closer to death than life. After her recovery, a separation from Phil followed, than reunion. It's the walk on life's ridge that turns all of us into tightrope walkers at times; their new work though gets right back to the essentials, with intensity and urgency. It dances on the fertile ground of simple instrumentalization, harmonizing on its own. Nothing's artsy, it's void of pretensions, no frazzling at the edges. The songs seem to come from crystal-clear mountain brooks, flowing into us.

«The squirrel's singing up in the house frame» comments Zeit online on a song. And: «The Bowerbirds» are serious about life far from the city, they're observing the natural beauty of North Carolina and musically inspire their thousands of 'blackberry (the fruit!) followers.» ' Blackberry fans', a fitting name for the aficionados of this band. Phil came down to the blue mountains as a web designer and hobby birdwatcher, but then fell into the nest of Beth Salmon, aka Beth Tacular. She learnt to play the accordion; he already knew the guitar. Completing this unusual trio was multi-instrumentalist Mark Paulson, and off they were to make the top 10 of the most-blogged bands on the net.

(By the way, for you students of ornithology: Bower's the elaborate roost of, you know it mate, the pitch-black Australian Bowerbird.)
The sound of our three got more open and more varied through the inclusion of wood and brass reeds, violins and vibraphone. Unheard of and seductive, multileveled and towering, tightly woven then free floating, even rumbling: Cumulus accordion-piano-violin-bassdrum melodies. Freaky folkpop, more country than Devandra Banhart, earthier than Lavender Diamond. And always, always that wonderful chorus - kitschy, if they weren't so honest about their intentions.
Singer/songwriter John Darnielle (Mountain Goats) made the high-flying Bowerbirds his favorite group. «When the three are singing in unison, the sound like the voices of the cult that had uncovered the secret of the Universe
Pilgrim to our cathedral of eternal sounds and lend an ear to hear Beth, Phil and Mark bird- and squirrel sing in it's roost.
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